Saturday, September 27, 2008

Italian Sausage Lasagna

This is the best lasagna I've ever had. It takes a bit of work so I don't usually bother halfiing the recipe, it's not worth all the work unless you have enough for lots of leftovers. Seriously, so good!

½ of a 1 lb box lasagna noodles
1 lb mild Italian ground sausage
½ lb ground beef
1 C chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried basil leaves
¼ tsp black pepper
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 T dried parsley flakes
½ tsp salt
4 C (1 lb) mozzarella cheese
¾ C parmesan cheese

Prepare noodles according to package.

In large skillet, combine sausage, beef onion & garlic. Cook & drain. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 20 minutes (or so, just until the rest is ready to layer).

In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese, egg, parsley & ½ tsp salt.

Spoon 1 ½ C meat sauce into 9x13 pan. Layer ½ noodles, ½ meat sauce, ½ ricotta mix, ½ mozzarella & ½ parmesan. Repeat layers. Cover. Bake @ 375 for 25 minutes. Uncover & bake 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting (or not, either way).

Maple Pecan Glazed Salmon

4 T maple syrup (sometimes I use a little more)
1 ½ T soy sauce
¼ tsp horseradish
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 lb salmon fillets
½ C pecan halves (or you can coarsely chop them and sprinkle them on top)

Preheat oven to 450. Mix first 4 ingredients together. Place salmon in a greased, shallow baking dish. Pour glaze over fish and top with pecan halves. Bake 15-17 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups whole oats
2 cup skim milk (or soy milk)
1 tsp best quality vanilla
1 grated apple, peel
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 tbls maple syrup -optional *I use agave nectar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup your choice dried fruit (like dried cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots, etc.)
Cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 400. Coat a baking dish (9x13?) with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then pour into baking dish.
Bake for about 40 minutes and serve.

Hearty Italian Soup

  • 2 Cans (14 oz) Chicken Broth (I just buy the 32 oz carton)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 1 Can (16 oz) White Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Pepperoni (Cut into strips)
  • 2 Cups Cheese Tortellinis (I just buy the small package and use the whole thing)

Cook Tortellini per directions and set aside.

Combine broth with zucchini and squash - simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in beans, pizza sauce and pepperoni and cook for 5 minutes. Add Tortellini at the last minute.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a recipe I got out of a grilling cookbook. I make this about twice a month. I usually have all this stuff on hand so it's a good go-to recipe, except you have to remember to make the marinade 8 hours in advance (sometimes I only do it 6 hours if I forget.)

Fajita Marinade:

¼ C vegetable oil (olive oil)
¼ C red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt¼ tsp pepper

Marinate 1-2 lbs steak or chicken for 8-24 hours. Grill. Serve with sauteed peppers and onions on tortillas with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rachel's Monte Cristo Sandwiches

This sandwich is SO good. Say goodbye to the plain old turkey sandwich. This was on the same episode as the Black Bean Stoup. I make these for myself all the time. The recipe is for 4 sandwiches

8 slices white sandwich bread (I use whole wheat, thick bread is better)
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (you can get it at Smith's or Albertson's or somewhere)
8 slices honey baked ham, from the deli counter
8 slices pepper jack cheese, from the deli counter
8 slices smoked turkey, from the deli counter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp hot sauce (I don't use this)
Splash of milk
1 tablespoon butter (or cooking spray)

Spread bread with a light layer of pepper jelly, chili sauce, salsa, or taco sauce. Build sandwiches using 2 slices each of ham, cheese and turkey per sandwich. Beat eggs with milk and 2 teaspoons hot sauce and season the eggs with a little salt. Heat a griddle pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in skillet. Dip each sandwich in egg coating and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side to melt cheese and warm the meats through.

I try to get the turkey and ham she specifies, but mostly just use whatever. I sometimes use just ham if I'm out of turkery. I love pepperjack cheese, and the pepper jelly is so good too. I use one egg, and that's enough if you are making two sandwiches too. And I just use cooking spray on the pan. Cut sandwich in half diagnolly to maximize enjoyment.

Black Bean "Stoup"

If anybody watches Rachel Ray, you will know what a stoup is. It's thicker than a soup, thinner than a stew. This is so healthy and so good. I usually make the whole recipe and eat it all myself since Ryan isn't a big fan (he doesn't like black beans). I love the flavors in this soup. I got this recipe off of a 30 minute meals episode and love it.

2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery with greens, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fresh bay leaf or 1 large dried bay leaf
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce (tobasco)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Sour cream

Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the hot pot, then onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, and bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add red peppers and continue to cook. Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. Use a fork to mash up the beans in the remaining can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and hot sauce. Add stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add the lime juice. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Ladle up black bean soup and top with sour cream and scallions.

That is Rachel's instructions. When I make it, I cut all the veggies really small, like the size of the beans. I cook the celery by itself for a few minutes because I like it to be really cooked. Then I add the onion for a minute, then the other veggies and bay leaf. I don't usually have limes on hand so I skip the lime juice, and I never bother cutting up the green onions to top it with, although I think that would be really good. I use lots of tobasco and lots of sour cream (not as healthy, but still good). It's really good heated up so I recommend making the whole pot. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pesto Bacon Wrapped Chicken

(looks sort of like this -not my picture)

*This recipe is one I sort of created, so at least you'll understand why my instructions aren't very professional. You can use other alternatives, like instead of low sodium Turkey Bacon you can use the real thing (yummy!). You can make your own pesto sauce, or buy the already made kind. To make this dish even lighter try to buy a pesto sauce that is not too high in fat (or make your own), don't use too much cheese (or at all if you prefer), and use a lower-fat, low-sodium turkey bacon. The tenderloins work nicely for appetizers. You can pound the chicken out first to make rolling easier depending on how thick the breasts are, OR cut breast in half. (I try to buy the thin chicken breasts for this recipe).

I like this recipe because it makes for an easy, fast, delicious entree that (most) everyone will enjoy! It goes great with garlic bread and any variety of pasta.

Prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 30 minutes.

  • Chicken Breasts, uncooked (or tenderloins)
  • Pesto sauce

  • Turkey Bacon

  • Parmesan cheese -fresh, grated (or mozzarella)

  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (or appropriate size needed) with olive oil/cooking spray. Take chicken and lay each breast out in pan (tongs work good for moving chicken around). Plop a spoonful of pesto sauce on each chicken breast. *Be careful not to touch chicken with spoon that you are re-dipping in the pesto sauce. Then spread the pesto across chicken, on both sides. Then sprinkle the up side of chicken with cheese.

Proceed by rolling each piece of chicken as tight as possible (cheese inside) -wash hands immediately after handling chicken and be very careful what you touch. Then take out one bacon strip per chicken breast and proceed to wrap the chicken with the bacon, like you are wrapping it to keep it closed- not the same direction as the chicken was rolled (its hard to explain). Then sprinkle the top with cheese, and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and cheese is bubbly.

*You can also roll the chicken in bread crumbs before cooking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sausage Stroganoff

Even if you don't use sausage much, you should try this dish. It's very rich and heavy so probably not a good dish if you're already feeling fat, but it is amazing. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. I don't come up with recipes on my own so I feel like I need to give credit where it's due. Although I'm guessing she got it somewhere else.

Sausage Stroganoff

1 lb ground sausage (I just use Jimmy Dean)
1 onion, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
12 oz spinach fettucini (I use whole grain egg noodles)
6 oz of the following cheese sauce: (makes a lot! Read below)
1 ½ lb cream cheese
1 C sour cream
1 T minced garlic
1 t fennel seed
¼ - ½ t crushed red pepper flakes
3 T minced fresh parsley
3 T minced fresh basil
splash of milk

I use a food processor for the cheese sauce. Add as much milk as it takes to get it blended. I usually make 1/3 of the cheese sauce, so it’s just one package of cream cheese. I don’t know how many ounces that is, but I use it all. I also don’t use fennel seed and I use a little dried parsley and basil since it’s hard to get in the winter.

Cook the noodles according to the package. Brown the sausage adding the onion and pepper near the end. Add the cheese sauce and simmer for a minute. Add tomatoes and simmer a minute more.
Serve over noodles.

Ranch Parmesan Chicken

I will try to remember to take a picture and add it the next time I make this dish. I can't call it mine because I got it from my roommate Whitney freshman year.

Ranch Parmesan Chicken
Chicken tenderloins or breasts
1/2 C Ranch Dressing
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/2 C Grated Parmesan cheese
Melted butter

I don't know the exact measurements on this, they don't really matter. I use tenderloins and make 2-3 tenderloins per person (and 1 for children). Mix ranch and sour cream in a bowl. Mix bread crumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Lay chicken on paper towel to dry. Dip chicken in ranch mix until coated, then in parmesan mix. Place in greased baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over chicken (the more, the tastier, but less healthy). Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending on if you used tenderloins or breasts, just until the chicken is cooked through (obviously). Very easy and yummy!

Amy's Chicken Enchiladas

Amy’s Chicken Enchiladas:

1 large can enchilada sauce (we buy green and red sauce)
White or whole wheat tortillas (preferably soft ones) about 8-10 (or corn tortillas)
Choice of shredded cheese -Cheddar, mozzarella, or mexican mixture.
Chicken breasts -or use cooked, rotisserie chicken
Chicken broth, 3 cups (or vegetable broth) for boiling chicken
Canned, diced tomatoes -drained
Canned, diced green chilies -drained (there are even canned tomatoes with green chillies)
1 tsp. Chili powder
Salt & pepper for taste

*Onions, peppers, and/or black beans are optional
*You can use salsa instead of canned tomatoes and green chilies

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Then boil chicken in broth, you can even add some enchilada sauce. While chicken is boiling heat the canned tomatoes and green chilies in a sauce pan -you can even add chopped onions, black beans, and/or your choice of peppers, it doesn't matter. Once the chicken is cooked through, drain it. (I shred my chicken by hand, so it needs to slightly cool down). Then stir the shredded chicken in with the tomato and green chili mixture. Then stir in teaspoon of chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Tip: Before you put the mixture in the tortillas try draining it so you don't get soggy tortillas.

Then take a 9 X 13 glass baking dish and proceed to spoon one tortilla a time with the chicken mixture, spoon some enchilada sauce over chicken, sprinkle some cheese inside, then gently, but tightly wrap the tortilla like a burrito. Repeat until the pan is full of burritos (makes around 8). Then spoon enchilada sauce over the top. For Shawn and I, I pour red sauce over half and green sauce on the other half so we can each have our favorite. Then sprinkle lots of the shredded cheese all across the top.

Then bake about 20 minutes uncovered, and then 10 minutes or so covered (if needed -I'm not exactly sure how long I cook them). Take them out when the cheese looks nice and bubbly, but not burnt or crunchy. Then serve with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, and lettuce, or whatever you want!